Thinking outside the ‘ballast’ box - METRONET


Thinking outside the ‘ballast’ box

  • 12 September 2023

There’s a new kid on the block on the METRONET Morley-Ellenbrook Line Project that’s proving to be a game changer when it comes to efficiently laying new tracks. Please give a warm welcome to not one, but two Reptail ballast box spreaders that have come all the way from Finland!

The innovative new piece of equipment shapes and distributes the track ballast – the material that forms the track bed and supports the concrete sleepers the rail is threaded through and clipped to.

The Morley-Ellenbrook Line Project is the first rail project in WA to use this method to lay ballast, as certified by the Infrastructure Sustainability Council, which is set to deliver transformative benefits over the life of the project.

The ballast box spreader increases labour efficiency and reduces the amount of equipment required compared to the standard method of laying ballast.

The advanced technology used in the spreader reduces fuel consumption, material waste and water usage with an estimated 68 megalitres of water saved over the life of the project. That’s equivalent to 27 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

“Discovering the Reptail ballast box spreader and implementing it on the project means we are finding new ways to work sustainably and keep the project on track to meet sustainability-focused targets,” Rail and Overhead Line Equipment Manager Kevin O’Meara explains.

The use of this technology supports the METRONET Sustainability Strategy, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from materials and energy across the program’s design and delivery phases by 20%.

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